Mobilising local knowledge

We will strengthen Southeast European Studies by soliciting ‘local knowledge’, bringing leading voices from the region to Regensburg to give lectures and teach, and supporting early career scholars from the region to develop new and innovative research. The Visiting Professorship Programme, International Visiting Fellowships for early career scholars, and pre-doctoral scholarships are but a few activities in this field.

A key principle is to do research about the region together with the region. We want to counter existing asymmetries in the production of knowledge, entering into dialogue with colleagues from the region, creating equitable channels of communication and exchange from which we can mutually benefit. Setting the research agenda together with our partners, we propose to concentrate on issues that have been of continuous importance to citizens in the region: economic survival, public health, migration, environmental problems, the lack of trust in public institutions, collective identities, memory and conflict, globalisation and outside interference, to name just a few.

We open up new research horizons by exploring ‘Europe’ from the fringe, bringing ‘other’ bodies of knowledge to light, which show a high degree of cultural intimacy with vernacular sites and contexts. Knowledge of the languages and acquisition of advanced language skills is a precondition for conducting good research. In addition, interdisciplinary approaches are essential, with social anthropology focusing on everyday life, history looking at long-term developments, and linguistics addressing the shifts in symbolic and semantic systems. In making vernacular and ‘decentred’ voices heard, Southeast European Studies offers ample opportunities to explore larger issues linked to processes of globalisation, causing ‘frictions’ in specific locales. 

Our measures are:

  • Visiting Professorships.
  • International Visiting Fellowships for early career scholars.
  • Seed funding for postdocs to explore new and innovative ideas for research. The funds can be used flexibly to cover, for example, archival research and fieldwork, travel, research assistance, workshops, and the like. 
  • Pre-doctoral scholarships, to prepare an application for PhD funding.
  • Workshops, e.g., “How to prepare an excellent doctoral project”. 
  • Mentoring junior scholars, preparing a publication for the IOS journal Comparative Southeast European Studies (COMPSEES). 

It will be a measure of our success when we manage to support burgeoning research projects to be conducted in the region by scholars residing there, helping to reduce the academic brain drain from the region and contributing to employment possibilities in the respective countries. We welcome joint research funding applications with lead applicants coming from the region.

Visiting scholars

Visiting Professor Stefan Dorondel

October 2023 – February 2024

Stefan Dorondel is a Romanian anthropologist/environmental historian with a Ph.D. in History and Ethnology from the Lucian Blaga University Sibiu, Romania and a Ph.D. in Rural Studies from Humboldt University Berlin.  He works for Francisc I. Rainer Institute of Anthropology and for the Institute for Southeast European Studies, both Romanian Academy of Sciences. He was affiliated with Yale University (Visiting Scholar), University of Cambridge (Visiting Fellow), Rachel Carson Center (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich) (International Fellow), Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Halle (Postdoctoral Fellow) and The New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies Bucharest (Fellow). Dorondel is generally interested in environmental humanities particularly in wetlands, river history, fishing communities, forest, forestry and forest communities and the anthropology of climate change in Southeast Europe (particularly in Romania and Bulgaria). Dorondel is equally interested in STS (how scientific and technological knowledge travel) and local ecological knowledge. He published in journals such as Development and Change, Environment and History, The Canadian Journal of Development Studies and Critique of Anthropology. He is the author of Disrupted Landscapes. State, Peasants and the Politics of Land in Postsocialist Romania (Berghahn, Oxford & New York, 2016), co-author of When Things Become Property. Land Reform, Authority and Value in Postsocialist Europe and Asia (Berghahn Books, 2017) and co-editor of A New Ecological Order. Development and the Transformation of Nature in Eastern Europe (Pittsburgh university Press 2021). He is the PI of the 3-year Romanian National Science Foundation funded research project State, Communities and Nature of the Lower Danube Islands: An Environmental History (1830-2020) (https://danislandsproject.wordpress.com/press/).

Stefan Dorondel teaches two courses at our university: “The History and Anthropology of Environment” and “The History and Anthropology of Infrastructure”.

Contact: stefan.dorondel@ur.de

Visiting Professor Daniela Koleva

April – July 2023

Daniela Koleva is professor of oral history and memory studies at the Department for History and Theory of Culture, Sofia University. Her research interests are in the fields of oral history and anthropology of socialism and post-socialism, biographical and cultural memory, politics of memory and heritage, ageing studies, social history of medicine. She has published a monograph on the ‘normal life course’ in communist Bulgaria and a number of book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her interest in the everyday life and life course under communism has resulted in a series of edited volumes, one of them international: Negotiating Normality: Everyday Lives in Socialist Institutions (Routledge, 2017). She is co-editor of Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the Secular and Religious in Eastern and Western Europe (Ashgate/Routledge, 2013). Her latest book is Memory Archipelago of the Communist Past: Public Narratives and Personal Recollections (Palgrave Macmillan 2022).

Daniela Koleva teaches two courses at our university: “Toppled Statues and Re-written Histories in Eastern Europe: An Introduction to Memory Studies” and “Oral History and Biographical Methods: What to do with them and how”.

Contact: daniela.koleva@ur.de

Predoc Fellow Silvana Farruku

April – September 2023

Silvana Farruku is currently a predoctoral fellow at SeeFField, where she is writing her project proposal with the topic “ The Identity Contradiction of Being Muslim and Albanian – A Multi-layered Critical Discourse Analysis of Hate Speech and Islamophobia in Albania and Kosovo: A case study of two Muslim majority countries in Southeast Europe”. Silvana holds a Master’s Degree in Modern Linguistics and a Bachelor Degree in Language and Literature from University of Tirana. During her master’s studies she conducted two Erasmus + semesters at Humboldt University of Berlin.
Furthermore, she has been engaged in various training programs on youth activism in Albania and on the implementation of relief and social projects.

Contact: silvana.farruku@ur.de

Katarina Damčević

Visiting fellow Katarina Damčević

May 2023

Katarina Damčević is a PhD candidate and a junior researcher at the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her research focuses on hate speech and contested symbols in post-conflict societies. The title of her doctoral thesis is “Semiotics of Hate Speech and Contested Symbols: The ‘Za dom spremni’ Ustaša Salute in Contemporary Croatia”, where she analyses how the salute has been used by different mnemonic actors to reinforce a one-sided version of the past and Croatia’s post-war national identity. Katarina was a research fellow in the US-based Dangerous Speech Project and the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, Serbia. She also works in the Center for Academic Writing and Communication at the University of Tartu. Her teaching and research interests revolve around writing groups and peer feedback, writing retreat facilitation, and writing and emotional well-being.

During her fellowship at seeFField Katarina will work on a project titled “Semiotics of Hate Speech: “Ready for the Homeland” in Contemporary Croatia”.

Contact: katarina.damcevic@ut.ee

Visiting fellow Dr Hikmet Karčić

May 2023

Hikmet Karčić is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law – University of Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina. and author of “Torture, Humiliate, Kill: Inside the Bosnian Serb Camp System” (University of Michigan Press, 2022). He was the 2017 Auschwitz Institute-Keene State College Global Fellow who has written extensively on genocide denial and atrocity prevention. A sought after commentator on international media outlets, his articles covering far-right extremism and mass atrocities have appeared in Haaretz, Newsweek and Foreign Policy.

During his fellowship at seeFField Hikmet will work on a project titled “The Drina River Valley: Troubled Pasts and Contested Parallel Histories”.

Contact: karcichikmet@gmail.com

 

 

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